“I ache for the touch of lips dear, but much more for the touch of your whips dear. You can raise welts like nobody else …” Tom Lehrer

Ms Whiplash meets a man… might bring a blush to your cheeks

It all started in the Authors’ Lounge at the London Book Fair a couple of years back. Feet sore, and ready for a coffee, I found a space at a table.

Having confirmed the seat was available, I took the weight off with a big sigh. In moments I was in conversation with an attractive woman, a successful author as it happens. We chatted about this and that and she invited me to meet her publisher; great idea.

My life experience was about to widen …

Down the aisle

We walked down some aisles searching for the stand. Finally, on a corner position, there it was… OMG …

Remember the old line, that’s a nice outfit you’re almost wearing? I gazed at the six-packs, cleavages, buttocks, thighs and other exposed acres of firm flesh — nothing improper you understand; just book covers and posters. In fact, I can’t think why I walked into the column supporting the stand.

After a brief introduction to the boss, I undertook to drop by next day and say ‘hi.’ My education on the subject, whilst far from complete, was about to get a boost.

Later, back at the stand

The following morning, they were ready for me. Imagine this Scottish author standing there in his kilt, black socks and shirt. Whatever else, I stood up for mankind as the only male on the stand … and firmly in the cross-hairs as I was about to discover … talk about lads and lashes …

There were two or three editors, a couple of authors and the publisher talking … just for me, I suspect, after some invisible director bellowed action in a voice only they could hear.

Lamb to the slaughter

First they talked about the art of making a person blush. Hmm that sounds like an interesting piece of psychology, I thought — wrong — they weren’t talking about using words to achieve a rosy tint. No, they meant techniques for spanking others with implements, you know: paddles, cats o’ nine tails, whips, lashes, rods, twigs, belts, straps, rulers … to create the glow.

I worked hard to look comfortable — and not blush — as they discussed the latest apparatus. My innocence protected me as I heard of techniques to raise a corporeal flush without breaking the skin: flick, swipe, swish, stroke … amazing; the appliance of a light (?) punishing science between consenting adults. It was all about pain and a gain for some people.

Hands up

My hand must go up here — sorry no rudeness intended. I knew nothing before I went to the stand. Now, my awareness is greater and my knowledge slightly increased. For the time being, I’d like to stay unbeatable.

The women I met were pleasant and mischievous. Did I bolt? No, of course not, I believe I left with dignity … I’m sure the chuckles I heard came from a nearby stand.

One thing I have to say, I’ll never slap my knee, stroke a cat or strike a golf ball without new trains of thought springing, unbidden, to mind.

Mac Logan